This our final installment of the Top 100 Prospect here at Mets Minors, hope you enjoyed our crazy long journey and are excited for the season to start tomorrow.
#96 RHP Ronald Guedez
Ht. 6’1” Wt. 170 Level: Kingsport Mets (Rookie League)
B/T: R/R Age: 1/26/96 (21) Age Dif: -1.0
Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2012 from Venezuela
2016 Statistics: 2-0, 1.08 ERA, 10 G, 16.2 IP, 13/6 K/BB, 1.200 WHIP
Profile: Ronald Guedez has performed very well since joining the Mets organization in 2012, posting an ERA under 3.04 in each season since a rocky debut in 2013. However, despite his solid numbers, Guedez has had issues missing bats, resulting in very low strikeout numbers.
These issues worsened once Guedez started playing stateside in 2015, as he had only a 2.7 K/9 in the GCL. He was converted into a reliever in 2016 and he did see an improvement in his strikeouts, albeit in a limited sample size.
Guedez is definitely relies more on control than pure stuff to get batters out. His fastball sits in the 88-92 range and does have decent movement to it. Batters often have trouble making hard contact in the air against it, which allows Guedez to limit home runs. He has only allowed four home runs in 186.1 career minor league innings, which shows an excellent ability to keep the ball in the park.
Guedez also throws a curveball and a change-up. Both pitches are decent, but neither are particularly good at getting swings and misses. Ideally, he’ll improve one of them to the point where it could be a legitimate out pitch.
2017 Outlook: Guedez should end up in the Brooklyn or Columbia bullpen in 2017. He will look to continue to induce weak contact and get batters to whiff more.
#97 IF Shervyen Newton
Ht. 6’4” Wt. 180 Level: DSL Mets
B/T: S/R Age: 4/24/99 (17) Age Dif: -1.2
Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2015 from the Netherlands
2016 Statistics: 35 G, 150 PA, 118 AB, 18 R, 5 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 5 CS, .169/.347/.229
Profile: The Mets signed the very young Shervyen Newton during the 2015 signing period and assigned him to play for the DSL Mets in 2016. He did struggle quite a bit with the bat during the season, but at only 17 years old, that shouldn’t be much of a concern.
Despite his struggles with the bat, Newton did show an impressive ability to get on base. His 14.7% walk rate was outstanding and, oddly enough, he managed to get hit by 10 pitches in only 150 plate appearances.\
Newton is athletic enough to play all over the infielder and has the arm to play shortstop and third base.
2017 Outlook: Based on his youth and performance in 2016, it seems likely that Newton will play in the DSL again in 2017.
#98 RHP Trent Johnson
Ht. 6’5” Wt. 190 Level: Kingsport Mets (Rookie League)
B/T: R/R Age: 8/12/96 (20) Age Dif: -2.0
Acquired: 16th round of the 2016 Draft from Santa Fe Community College (Florida)
2016 Statistics: 0-3, 6.61 ERA, 14 G, 16.1 IP, 14/4 K/BB, 1.531 WHIP
Profile: Trent Johnson is a tall, projectable righty from Florida drafted by the Mets last June. He currently has a very skinny build, but should add more muscle as matures physically. His fastball currently sits around 90 MPH, but it’s very likely that he’ll be able to add at least a couple more miles to that. Johnson also throws a curve and a change-up. Both pitches show promise, but need more development. He has solid command and is able to throw a good amount of strikes.
Mechanically, Johnson’s delivery is very simple and doesn’t seem to put an unusually high amount of stress on the arm. He throws from a high 3/4 arm slot and uses a good amount of lower body in his delivery.
2017 Outlook: Johnson should start next season in the Brooklyn Cyclones rotation, where he will continue work on improving his secondary pitches.
#99 RHP Witt Haggard
Ht. 6’2” Wt. 205 Level: Columbia Fireflies (Single-A)
B/T: R/R Age: 12/9/91 (25) Age Dif: 2.1
Acquired: 10th round of the 2015 Draft from Delta State University
2016 Statistics: 3-4, 3.58 ERA, 24 G, 37.2 IP, 38/27 K/BB, 1.673 WHIP
Profile: Witt Haggard has a bit of an unusual background that makes him a bit more interesting than the usual 5th-year senior draftee. For his first two years of college, Haggard was the backup quarterback for Ole Miss. Due to a lack of playing time, he transferred schools in an attempt to convert to baseball. He pitched for one year at Meridian Community College, before transferring again to Delta State, where he was a reliever for his final two years.
As a result of his limited baseball experience, Haggard may have a bit higher upside than most players who get only a $5,000 signing bonus after being drafted. He is, very clearly, only a reliever, but the stuff is very exciting. Haggard’s fastball can get up to 95 and has great life to it. The fastball’s arm-side run is also very impressive. He complements his fastball with a sharp curveball that is an above average pitch.
Unfortunately, as good as Haggard’s stuff is, he often has no idea where it’s going, resulting in a ton of walks. His delivery is complicated and he has trouble repeating. Also, his pitches move so much that it’s often hard to get them into the strike zone even when he is repeating his mechanics well. Ideally, the organization would work with Haggard on a simpler delivery that won’t diminish his excellent stuff.
2017 Outlook: Haggard will repeat Columbia. If he can improve his command to a reasonable level, he has the chance to be a very good reliever.
#100 C/1B Jose Maria
Ht. 5’9” Wt. 215 Level: Kingsport Mets (Rookie League)
B/T: R/R Age: 11/30/94 (22) Age Dif: 0.5
Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2011 from the Dominican Republic
2016 Statistics: 43 G, 174 PA, 157 AB, 28 R, 18 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI, CS, .306/.362/.478
Profile: In his fifth season in the Mets organization, Jose Maria had a breakout year in 2016. However, while he had a great year, there a few reasons to be hesitant about Maria’s season. First, at 21 years old, Maria was slightly old for the level he was playing.
Secondly, the Mets are seemingly moving Maria off of catcher. He’s always played a bit of first base throughout his career, but, in 2016, he played more first base than he did catcher. While he would likely be a good hitter at catcher, the bat is really going to have to develop for Maria to be playable at first.
Maria does have intriguing power potential. At the moment, it’s more gap power, but it’s still possible that he could get some of those doubles over the fence at some point. He does make a lot of contact, but it would be good to see him improve his plate discipline and take a few more walks.
2017 Outlook: Maria should start 2017 in Brooklyn, where he’ll likely split time between catcher and first base.
And finally, because Gabriel Ynoa was traded during the making of the list, I’m going to throw in another prospect as a bonus. To save all the confusion of moving every player up one spot or having two #100s, I’ll just refer to him as #101.
#101 OF Raphael Ramirez
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 175 Level: Kingsport Mets/St. Lucie Mets (Rookie Ball/Advanced-A)
B/T: L/L Age: 12/15/1995 (21) Age Dif: -0.5
Acquired: Drafted in the 18th round 2014 out of Pace Academy, Georgia
2016 Statistics: 44 G, 151 PA, 140 AB, 21 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 SB, 3 CS, 7/51 BB/K, .150/.190/.214
Profile: It’s hard to believe that just a year ago, some rankings had Ramirez in their top 30 prospects. Ramirez was expected to start last year in Brooklyn, but ended up repeating Kingsport after he supposedly didn’t look good in extended spring training. While in Kingsport, well, obviously the results were pretty bad. Despite the terrible performance, I think that Ramirez’s tools are too good to be left off of this list entirely.
Ramirez is easily a plus runner and I’ve seen his speed reported to currently be plus-plus, as well. He is able to steal plenty of bases, but so far hasn’t gotten on base enough to show that ability. Ramirez uses his speed and good instincts in the field to be a good defender. He should stay above average in center even as he adds muscle. The only issue with the defensive part of his game is his arm, which isn’t quite average.
Despite his performance, there is some reason to be optimistic about his bat. He does possess good bat speed and should eventually have the raw power to hit at least 10 home runs a year. Unfortunately, that’s where the good ends. Ramirez’s plate discipline is very poor and he has swing and miss issues as well. The result is low walk rates and extremely high strikeout rates. He’s also very poor against left handed pitching.
2017 Outlook: At just 21 years old, it seems premature to say that time is running out for Ramirez, but he is no longer young for the levels that he’s playing at and he has to start producing offensively. I can still see a at least future platoon player, but he really needs to improve his bat for that to happen. He should start 2017 in the Brooklyn Cyclones outfield.
2017 MMN TOP 100 PROSPECTS